Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eye Hath Not Seen

I was reading The Upper Room this morning, and the writer referred to a Bible passage that I am familiar with by virtue of having sung a piece of choral music based upon it. The actual verse begins at 1 Corinthians 2:9; it is paraphrased beautifully in the music. Thanks to You Tube I found a clip, although it doesn't credit the composer. ) :

Anyway, a song for Sunday:

Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,
Nor has it ever entered into the heart of man,
The things God hath planned for those who love him.

But God has revealed them unto us,
Revealed by his Spirit,
For the Spirit searcheth all things,
Even the things of God the Father,
Yes the deep, deep things of God.

Wishing you God's Peace!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'll Fly Away

One of my favorite spirituals, this is one of the songs that plays quite often on the soundtrack that I carry around in my head. This particular version is performed by Allison Krauss (whom I consider a national treasure) and Gillian Welch.
The video clip, from the film, "O Brother, Where Art Thou" doesn't do much for me, so my suggestion is, just listen and enjoy. And have a wonderful Sunday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Morning Music

The following piece of music is one of my favorites. It reminds me of my mother, the source of my love of music and the amazing woman and talented musician that she is.

My life flows on in endless song;

Above earths lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round!
Songs in the night He giveth:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of Heavn and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it:
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing:
All things are mine since I am His—
How can I keep from singing?

Lyrics: Robert Lowry (1860)
Melody: Ira D. Sankey (1840-1908)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Learning, Learning Everywhere

Today's lesson comes from an extremely boring, typographic error-filled legal response to a lawsuit pending against my employer. Here it is -

"Substantial evidence means more than a scintilla but less than a preponderance."

Well, if you have to read through one of these documents, my thought is, at least learn something. Plus, wow, they used the word "scintilla!" I will probably remember this lesson(though I may forget the rest of the crap in the extremely boring, typographic error-filled document). Just thought I would share.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Today's Theme Song

It's not unusual for me to wake up with music running through my brain. Seriously, I have woken up singing. This morning's music is a piece that I was fortunate enough to learn and sing under the direction of its author, Dr. Horace Clarence Boyer. Dr. Boyer was a Professor Emeritus at UMass Amherst and one of the editors of the hymnal, "Lift Every Voice and Sing", which is filled with traditional African American spirituals. Which white people can't sing too well, but under his direction, WOW, we sounded great. WOW. I loved every minute of it.

This clip is of one of his compositions, It's My Desire. It's deceptively simple, really fun to sing, and it IS my desire to be like Him. Him being Jesus.

Unfortunately the first phrase was cut off in the video - ) :. Let me fill it in: It's my desire to be like the Lord, ...

The rest of the lyrics:

It's my desire to be like the Lord,
It's my desire to be like Him. (repeat)

It's my desire (To show that I care), to be a friend (Doing my full share),
'Til the end (Though it is so rare), through rain and wind (To kneel in prayer).
It's my desire (To be a soldier), yes it is (For His great cause),
To live my life as He did His.

The note that the soprano hits twice near the end, that's actually written into the music, and Dr. Boyer called it a "high hoo". I love that - a high hoo!

As I was looking around for a clip of this to post, I learned that Dr. Boyer died last year at the age of 73. R.I.P., my friend, I look forward to more great music in heaven!

Have a wonderful and peaceful week.

Friday, July 30, 2010

K. C. and the Sunshine...

I guess I should give an introduction to this blog entry. So first, the back story. I work in county government, in the planning office. My job is as a technician, which means I interpret rules regarding how people are allowed to use their property. Which means people get pissed off at me pretty regularly, but I digress.

When I started working here, we were in the middle of a serious real estate boom. Wow, looking back I don’t even know how we were able to handle the workload, and I'm not exaggerating. Developers were buying up farms left and right, slicing and dicing and shoe-horning as many houses as could possibly fit into the smallest areas imaginable. The county had so many applications for land use that we had to schedule the usual monthly public hearing on two consective nights, and even with two, those hearings would last until the wee hours of the morning. That was about 5 years ago.

Fast forward to 2010. As you drive around the county nowadays, you will see many partially built out developments, as well as “for sale” signs advertising “Approved Subdivision – 448 lots” or “225 lots” or “137 lots”; you get the idea. Construction here has gone from boom to bust, just as it has in many places across the country.

So now (finally!) we in Kent County have a potential bright spot on the horizon – one of the approved subdivisions, as yet totally unbuilt, has been sold and a plan is being brought forward to turn it into a Solar Energy Facility. I personally think this is a brilliant idea. First off, we get to expunge the formerly approved subdivision, which was supposed to have had 216 homes on 148 acres. And that was only Phase One. Here’s what the proposed subdivision was planned to look like:

Not only do I love the word “expunge” (EXPUNGE!), but it’s like getting out a big eraser and wiping the slate clean – powerful. Second, we get to have green technology in its place. 148 acres of solar panels. I think we are going to get some mileage out of the positive publicity surrounding this project. Third, the design of this project has a tiny fraction of the impact that a housing development would have, for so many reasons. Of course less traffic, but also less impervious surface so less stormwater runoff ( a HUGE concern in an area that is flat as a pancake and whose soils are not exactly arable), and the spaces between the panels will be planted with clover, so ostensibly no mowing necessary. So far it sounds great. Here’s the preliminary proposal for the solar farm:

Now, when the Planning Officer first received this application, the name of the project was “Tuscany at Carpenter Bridge”, which is the name of the company that owns the property. Sort of sounds like a restaurant, doesn't it? My boss asked the developer to give it a name that better reflects what the new use would be, to which the developer replied,”What do you want to name it?” To which my fellow technician Kathy and I replied, “K.C. and the Sunshine Farm!” K.C. being Kent County, and c’mon, it’s a catchy name. However, it seems that the new name will be Renewable Solar Energy Farm at Carpenters Bridge.” Where’s the fun or imagination in that? Pfffffffffffffffffft.

The developer is stating that 320,400 panels will be installed, and will generate about 64 megawatts of power. That is purportedly enough to power 1800 homes for a year. The power will be added to the existing “grid”, though, so a consumer won’t know if they are buying solar power or not. Still, knowing that your "grid" has a solar farm has some cache, don't you think?

The application is scheduled for public hearing at the beginning of September, and I’m planning on attending this hearing just so I can hear what the public has to say. I can’t be positive, but I think the chances of this being approved without a lot of onerous conditions are quite good. Quite good. This is the kind of thing that government officials want their names attached to. Like I said, good press. And I’m fairly certain the neighboring property owners will be happy about it as well. Much happier than they were when the 216 homes were approved in 2006.

Stay tuned for more information as it comes in.

Do a little dance,
Make a little love,
Get down tonight,
Get down tonight, baby.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Sunday

Before I go off to visit the family and then visit my friend Gladys at the nursing home, I thought I would share some beautiful music. The following video is a clip from Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebration, and features the Saint Paul Cathedral choir singing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You", the traditional Irish Blessing, music composed by John Rutter:

I hope you enjoy. What a peaceful way to start the week. Amen.